Astra is the newest agent in Valorant. She is a controller, meaning she excels at obscuring enemy vision, and helping her team safely take control of or protect crucial areas on the map.
Her abilities work in a unique way. Instead of buying individual abilities, Astra buys up to 5 “Stars” which she can turn into any of her abilities. She can enter Astral Form to place her stars anywhere on the map, but be careful, because while in Astral Form she cannot move, see, or hear enemies.
Once the stars are placed, Astra can use them without needing to be in her Astral Form, except for her ultimate. Aside from that ultimate, Astra has 4 options for what she can do with the stars once placed.
Skill 1: Nebula
She can use Nebula to turn the stars into a hollow smoke, similar to but smaller than Omen’s.
Skill 2: Nova Pulse
Her Nova Pulse has a short charge up window and then concusses any enemies within range, like Breach’s Fault Line.
Skill 3: Gravity Well
Gravity Well is unlike any other ability in the game — it pulls anyone, friend or foe, towards it center while active, and then turns them vulnerable, causing them to take increased damage, when it detonates. These 3 abilities all consume the star, and it cannot be used again.
Skill 4: Dissipate
The fourth ability is called Dissipate, and this allows Astra to pick her star back up. Doing so puts up a very brief smoke, and then returns the star to Astra. She can then place it somewhere else on the map to use it there.
Ultimate: Cosmic Divide
Not to be forgotten is Astra’s ultimate, Cosmic Divide. Cosmic Divide uses a star to create a giant wall that splits the map. Astra can angle it in any direction – think Viper’s wall on steroids! Even better than Viper’s wall, Astra’s wall blocks bullets and severely dampens sound!
How to Read the Stars
Those are Astra’s abilities, but how should they be used? And equally as important, how shouldn’t they be used?
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is always critical in Valorant, but it’s of particular importance with Astra. It’s critical that she stays alive to use all of her stars, so it’s often going to be one or more of her teammates peeking first as her abilities are used, not Astra herself. Those teammates need to know when and where Astra is going to use those abilities, or else they’ll likely go to waste.
Use Astra’s stars to set up fakes. The exception to the above rule is if Astra’s team doesn’t always go to where the stars are set up. If Astra drops all 5 stars on location A at the start of a round and maybe 1 player makes noise or uses an ability there, it’s very likely that the enemy team is going to over-rotate to A, particularly in Gold-ranked games and below. Astra can then pick up all of her stars and place them again as her team easily takes B.
Combine Astra’s abilities with her teammates’ abilities. Gravity well in particular is super strong when paired with damaging abilities or when tossing in a Molotov or two. Raze’s Paint Shells, Phoenix’s Hot Hands, Brimstone’s Incendiary, and Killjoy’s Nanoswarm all work great in conjunction with Gravity Well and can lead to easy multi-kills and win rounds. If Astra insists on or needs to go in lone wolf-style, she can combine her own abilities. With two stars placed virtually on top of each other, Gravity Well can hold her opponents close enough to her Nova Pulse to concuss them, creating an easy kill for Astra! She may truly be the star of the team!
Telegraph movement with Astra’s stars. With 5 stars to place, it can be tempting to place them well before the round starts so that there’s time to get them all set up and Astra doesn’t have to be in vulnerable Astral Form during the round. However, Astra’s enemies can see (and hear when they are placed) Astra’s stars on the ground, including before the round starts. If 5 stars suddenly appear at location A as the pre-round timer ticks down, the Defenders have a strong indicator of what’s likely coming.
Do the same thing every round. If Astra uses her stars to fake every round, the opposing team will catch on to that just like they will if Astra’s team always goes to where her stars are. Same goes for positioning of the stars. Now of course there are spots that are useful to have smokes at nearly every round, but if Astra uses Gravity Well and/or Nova Pulse in the same place over and over, her enemies are going to adjust to it. Get creative with where Astra’s stars are placed.
Be afraid to consume stars. Often in Valorant, especially in lower ranked games, players hold on to their utility for too long, waiting to use it at the “perfect” time. That perfect time often never comes, or it comes and goes without the player ever knowing it. Astra has 5 stars for a reason – to use them! Even if a Nova Pulse or Gravity Well misses your target or targets, often times it would have forced them to reposition and give Astra or her teammates a more advantageous fight. Even if it just indicates that there’s no one lurking in that particular corner, any information about enemy whereabouts is useful information in a heated game of Valorant!
Ready to Be a Star?
With these tips and a little practice, anyone can become a successful Astra player. She has the potential to be one of the strongest agents in Valorant, but team play is still crucial, even for likely lone wolves among us. Remember to always be friendly towards fellow players. If an ally Astra is inexperienced with the agent, that’s to be expected with many of us, since she’s brand new. Try to be helpful instead of critical, and it just might win you the game!
PUBG, Fortnite, Whatever-Game fanatic. Food evangelist. Internet ninja. Friendly communicator. Twitter fan. Zombie fanatic.